Development and characterization of defect-free Matrimid mixed-matrix membranes containing activated carbon particles for gas separation


In this work, mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) for gas separation in the form of thick films were prepared via the combination of the polymer Matrimid® 5218 and activated carbons (AC). The AC particles had a mean particle size of 1.5 μm and a mean pore diameter of 1.9 nm. The films were prepared by slow solvent evaporation from casting solutions in chloroform, which had a varying polymer–AC ratio. It was possible to produce stable films with up to a content of 50 vol % of AC. Thorough characterization experiments were accomplished via differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, while the morphology of the MMMs was also investigated via scanning electron microscopy. The gas transport properties were revealed by employing time-lag measurements for different pure gases as well as sorption balance experiments for the filler particles. It was found that defect free Matrimid® MMMs with AC were prepared and the increase of the filler content led to a higher effective permeability for different gases. The single gas selectivity αij of different gas pairs maintained stable values with the increase of AC content, regardless of the steep increase in the effective permeability of the pure gases. Estimation of the solubilities and the diffusivities of the Matrimid®, AC, and MMMs allowed for the explanation of the increasing permeabilities of the MMMs, with the increase of AC content by modelling.
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